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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Spotlight: Union mantris from state ‘desert’ YSR

While the state government and the state Congress are struggling to wriggle out of the fallout of the police firing and resultant six deaths in Mudigonda, all the central ministers from the state, save expression of sympathy for the victims by Renuka Chowdhury and S Jaipal Reddy, have maintained a stony silence on the entire episode.

No statement either condemning the police firing or supporting chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, has been issued by the AP ministers in the Union council of ministers.

There are six ministers from the state in the Union council of ministers. Of these, Jaipal Reddy is the lone cabinet minister while the rest, Dasari Narayana Rao, Jairam Ramesh, Renuka Chowdhury, Panabaka Lakshmi and Purandeswari are ministers of state.

None of the other senior leaders at the Centre including G Venkataswamy, deputy leader of the party in Lok Sabha and N Janardhan Reddy, former chief minister, spoke on the issue. Rayapati Sabasivarao simply issued a statement condemning the attempt by the opposition parties to change the YSR government in the state.

In fact, several leaders were reluctant to broach the subject and defend the chief minister openly on the issue.

“I am a small person in the party. Small people are not supposed to comment on big issues like firing and its legitimacy. Kindly do not press for a reaction from me,” said a Union minister who sought anonymity.

In fact, Dasari Narayana Rao was very much in town, but preferred not to comment on the incident. So was the case with Purandeswari and Panabaka Lakshmi, both of them making themselves unavailable for comment.

Analysts say this clearly shows the lack of solidarity and the sorry state of affairs in the Congress party.

The reason for this silence, party observers comment, being in case Rajasekhara Reddy has to be replaced, they could be aspirants for that post.

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